Tobacco Bag Stringing
Mrs. Bet Rash

MRS. BET RASH, Wilkes County, N.C., 60, widow with 3 children living with her. One, a girl of 22, is married to a man 70. They all live together. Children are between 18 and 23

INCOME: Daughter's husband gets $1 a day working on another man's farm when he is able. He gets $10 a month old age pension. Earning $2.50 a week on bags is [sic] there are any to string. They are also on relief but won't admit it.

EXPENSES: Owns home, but taxes are about $4 a year. When they have the money, they spend $5 a week on groceries, their expenses are minimum, but they cannot pay their back taxes.

HOME CONDITIONS: There is 1/2 acre of land and the house has 2 rooms. There are absolutely no conveniences whatsoever, They own no animals or fowl of any sort. Water comes from a spring. They are able to grow a little to eat but have to buy most of their food. The house and grounds are in terrible condition and are not kept up at all. The people are degraded and live in a degraded state. Despite the condition and attitude of these people, they are good stringers and do 5000 bags a week. The money they get for this work constitutes a large percentage of their total income, and if it was taken away from them, it would leave them with next to nothing. They find this work easy and harmless.

[Source: "Tobacco Bag Stringing Operations in North Carolina and Virginia." Richmond, Va.: 1939. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]